La Crimson Femme
Review: Dream Spinner by Kristen Ashley
★★★★ @KristenAshley68 #DreamSpinner #NetGalley
Hattie the "dirty" ballerina is on stage and ready for her man, Axl. I have been waiting for this story ever since the first book in this spin-off series. I wanted to learn more about Hattie and boy-howdy do we ever. Warning, it is sad and may cause a reader to rage at her father.
I have a thing for dancers and Hattie's dancing style as described in the book hits checks all the boxes for me. She is a sweetheart whose broken dreams of dancing ballet are rivaled by her broken home. Her father is an issue. He comes across as an abusive control freak that should be shot. Her dysfunctional interactions with him make me feel both rage and sadness. Why can he not see he is destroying his daughter? It makes no sense to me.
With Hattie's daddy issues, it makes sense why she shy shies away from Axl. Axl is a dominant man who wants to protect and do things for Hattie. At every turn, his overtures are met with scared resistance. Hattie's inability to meet conflict head on and have open conversations is her downfall. So who comes riding in to her rescue? DING DING DING - prize goes to the one who guessed, Cisco. Goodness I love this bad boy. Once again, Cisco is the one who helps "his girls" stay safe whilst slapping their man upside the head to get them straightened out. He is so easy to talk with that Hattie confides in him. He does have an advantage of doing research and figuring out what makes Hattie tick. I cannot wait to learn Cisco's story and who is paired up with him. I digress.
Axl is an alpha male who isn't sure how to protect his wayward lamb. All he knows is that Hattie is constantly degraded by her father and he's going to put a stop to it. The much anticipated showdown between Axl and Hattie's father... took a peculiar turn. And this is what changed a 3 star-ish book to a 4 star for me. My heart hurt witnessing Hattie's father from Axl's objective eyes. To top it off, Axl also has father issues. The compare and contrast between the two fathers is nicely done and adds another layer to this story.
Whilst all this relationship drama is going on, Hattie picks up a stalker and the dirty cops Axl's boss is investigating heats up. Ms. Ashley does a bang up job blending the various threads in this story into a multilayered romantic suspense pulling at the heartstrings. This is a page turner and I enjoyed every emotion this book squeezed out of me. This romantic suspense is recommended to readers who like messy family interactions, complicated relationships and happily ever afters.
*provided by NetGalley